Thursday, June 2, 2016

10 Must-Have Beauty Products for Summer (Save vs. Splurge)

striped beach umbrella // scalloped swimsuit // straw hat

Happy Thursday, friends! I love reading about what products other women use in the summer - which ones are worth spending money on, and which ones aren't - so I thought you might like a list of my ten beauty must-haves for summer. I've listed each category as a "save" or "splurge." This post isn't sponsored in any way, shape, or form. Just my thoughts!

If you have a question, tweet me (cmcoving) or leave it in the comments!

1. Self Tanner (SAVE)
My favorite self tanners are all from the drugstore! I posted about my spray tan routine here, but I use self tanners to help extend the life of my tan in between spray tans. THIS is my favorite lotion - I get it in the "medium to dark" color and apply it after every shower or at night. The face version is also really good - I don't tan my face (ever), so I use this product almost every single night in the summer and it makes a difference! Sometimes I'm not in the mood to apply lotion all over my body,  and that's where THESE tan wipes come into play. One wipe is enough for half your body (I use one wipe on both of my legs). There's absolutely no smell or sticky residue, and it dries really fast! The color is really pretty too, not orange at all but more of a golden brown/bronze hue. Lately I've been using the wipes more than the lotion and just wiping down my legs 15 minutes before bed. I wake up with tan legs! 

2. Hair Oil (SPLURGE)
My hair seriously frizzes out in the summer humidity - so hair oil is a MUST for me! I stumbled upon this product a while back and have been hooked ever since. I've gone through several bottles! I apply a small amount on my hair while it's still wet and then style like normal. Not only does it leave my hair feeling softer and more manageable, but it also tames flyaway and helps condition my split ends. I can tell a huge difference when I use it and when I don't. I have this product listed as a splurge because it's a little expensive - the good news is that a little goes a long way - one bottle will last you a long time. (I've never found ANY product at the drugstore that compares to this!) And if you have fine or heavily color-treated hair, there is a lite version made just for you.

3. Teeth Whitener (SAVE)
Everyone wants white teeth in the summer - it complements a tan, and you can wear pretty pink and coral lipsticks without worrying about yellow teeth! A lot of people get their teeth professionally whitened or spend a lot of money on at-home whitening kits. I swear by this drugstore product, which is WAY cheaper in comparison. The "professional effects" is the best. I use them for a week straight at the beginning of the summer, and then about twice per week after that. I couple it with this exact toothpaste. You don't need to invest tons of money into whitening - these kits are amazing and work just as well.

4. Bronzer (SPLURGE) 
Like I said before, I never tan my face - my face is super sensitive, so I wear sunscreen and a hat whenever I'm going to be in the sun for a prolonged amount of time. Thus, bronzer is essential to avoid looking like a vampire! I've been using this serum bronzer for the past couple of weeks and here's why I love it: I simply mix a couple of drops with my everyday foundation and apply like normal, and voila: it blends perfectly into my foundation, and I look like I've spent a week at the beach. While powdered bronzer is great for contouring (I prefer this one for contour), it's not ideal for dusting over your entire face. That's why I love the serum - you can use as much as you want, and it blends flawlessly into your foundation for a very natural, sun-kissed look.

5. Straw Hat (SAVE)
In the summer, you won't find me outside without a hat to protect my face and hair! And believe it or not, you can get some really insanely cute straw hats for less than $30. I bought this straw hat last summer and it is still one of my faves (less than $30!)... and this cute one is only $14. Target also has a great selection of straw hats, so definitely check there too. Not only do they offer a lot of protection, but they are chic too!

6. Sunscreen (SPLURGE)
Drugstore sunscreen works just fine, however I've gotten addicted to using this organic spray-on sunscreen and I don't know if I'll ever go back. The pina colada scent is pure heaven in a bottle... plus it contains anti-aging ingredients that work double duty while also protecting your skin from the sun. I used it the entire two weeks I was at the beach, and didn't get burned once (even after swimming in the ocean!). More benefits: it sprays on, doesn't need to be rubbed in and doesn't leave behind a white residue.

7. White Eyeliner (SAVE)
I picked up a couple tubes of white eyeliner at the drugstore a few weeks ago and incorporated them into my makeup routine. Any white eyeliner will do - I like this one with a little bit of shimmer to it  - I apply it to the inside corners of my eyes. It makes you look instantly awake and looks gorgeous with tanned skin. This one is more expensive but I love how it's double-sided!

8. Lip Balm with SPF (SPLURGE)
Yes, it's a little pricey, but I am obsessed with this tinted lip moisturizer. Even if it didn't contain SPF, I would use it because of how good and moisturizing it feels on my lips. I have the color "Petal" and it's the perfect pink tint (it's barely visible). The skin on your lips is just as important as the skin on the rest of your face!

9. Exfoliating Body Scrub (SAVE)
A body scrub is essential during the summer, especially before fake tanning! I have been using this scrub from the drugstore since I was in my teens and I continue to buy it today. When you're in the bathtub, take a warm, wet washcloth and scrub using the exfoliator to remove dead skin cells. Trust me, this makes a HUGE difference in how your spray tan or self tanner goes on afterwards! I always exfoliate my face and body before getting a spray tan. 

I know this post is about "beauty products," but water is the number one beauty product out there. Drinking enough water in the summer is essential to the health of your skin and hair. I purchased this infuser water bottle (in pink!) and absolutely love it. I have been adding strawberries and orange slices to the infuser and it tastes SO REFRESHING when the water is cold. You need to try out that exact combo!




  1. Ahhh How cool is this towel?! I need a pink towel in my life as well :D

    Great article, girl!

    xo Vanessa |

  2. A straw hat belongs definitely to my summer essentials :)
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  3. Such a great round up of all things summery! Thanks so much Caitlin 💜

    Arum Lilea

  4. Love the bikini!! x

  5. I love this type of posts! Everytime you recommend something I tried and is always amazing thanks!

  6. Hi Caitlin, great round up of products. When you click on the link for the bronzer, however, it takes you to the treatment you use for your hair? ;)

    1. Thanks for letting me know, Anne! I just fixed it!

  7. Great post! I LOVE the sunscreen... I bought it after you recommended it a little while ago!

    For the serum bronzer, you have moroccan oil treatment linked as the product... Would you mind clarifying which serum bronzer you mix in to your foundation? If it is Moroccan oil, I stand corrected (and i am impressed at the beauty tip!) I'ld love to find something for an every day "sun kissed" look! THANKS! :)

    1. Hey Caitlin, thanks for letting me know! I just fixed it so it should work now :)

  8. Loving the stripes on stripes action going on here. A straw hat is always by my site on all my summer travels, can't leave the house without it.
    MariaOnPoint | Find me on IG

  9. I love a good hair oil and I couldn't agree more that drugstore teeth whiteners work excellent for me. :)

    Simply Rachel Nicole

  10. White eyeliner is my fave! I use it on my lower waterline, and on my lips to contour them, too. I'm partial to NYX retractable pencils, but think I'll be trying the white/pink one soon!

  11. Love your pink and white umbrella! So cute!

    Xo - Steph

  12. I just love your blog and everything you wear and end up purchasing what feels like 90% of what you post lol. Thanks for always being so sweet honest and responsive to your readers!

  13. I am ready for summer then! great post chica <3

  14. Cute photo babe, love the pink! <3 Thanks for sharing this list! Now I just need to remember to go get some of everything.

  15. I use Jergens every single night in the Summer as well, I don't tan in the Summer I just burn so I have to lather up the lotion. Jergens is the only way I get any sort of color! I also LOVE my white eyeliner, it really does instantly make you look awake. I got my favorite from Sephora a while back and won't ever go back! :)

    Love this whole list!


  16. Really need to try those bronzing products and self tanner! I'm sooo whiitee!



  17. Always love seeing what "saves" other ladies are finding when it comes to beauty products! I definitely need to try white eyeliner! I sometimes will put white eyeshadow in the inner corner of my lid for a similar effect!

  18. My hair gets so frizzy in the humidity, I need to try the moroccan oil! And I've been a die hard fan of sugar lip balm for years now, it's literally the best!

    xo, Carey

  19. Great little round up!! I love the recommendations and that umbrella is so cute!

    Sara Kate Styling

  20. Such a great & helpful post! I'm loving the scalloped bikini as well!

    Jordan: The Teacup of Style
    Instagram: @teacupofstyle

  21. Amazing round up!

  22. Love how you put the post together! Lots of helpful tips!


  23. I just ordered the second straw hat you linked from Nordstrom and it is supposed to be delivered today. I'm excited to receive it and now even more so since you suggested it! Yay! :) Hope it fits my little peanut head. ;)